PC upgrades - Help?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by itsOver9000, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. itsOver9000 macrumors 6502

    itsOver9000

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Location:
    B.F., KS
    #1
    This is the desktop I have, almost 2 years old:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883227392

    AMD FX-4100 3.6GHz Quad Core CPU
    AMD Radeon HD 6670 1GB
    8GB DDR3 1333 RAM
    ASROCK N68-VS3 FX motherboard, AM3+ cpu socket, PCI-e 2.0x16 for video card
    500W Power supply

    I’m thinking about a few upgrades:
    1) A relatively cheap SSD for the OS. Already have a couple 500GB drives for other data.
    2) A better video card. I have no idea what would be a noticeably better video card than what I already have, and maybe for around $100….?
    3) Maybe a better CPU, or would my current CPU be “good enough”?
    4) Would I need to go with a higher power supply than my 500w if I decide to get SSD, new video card, and new CPU?

    Here's some of the hardware I have found:
    1) SSD
    ADATA 128GB: $89.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820211602
    looks like it would be good enough for me

    2) Video Card: NVIDIA or AMD?
    This looks pretty decent, maybe?:
    Radeon HD 7770 2GB PCI-e 3.0 x16: $134.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814121642

    3) CPU:
    6-core:
    AMD FX-6300 3.5GHz AM3+ 95w: $119.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113286
    or
    8-core:
    AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz AM3+ 125w: $159.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819113285

    4) PSU:
    650W: $89.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182071
    or
    750W: $104.99
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182073

    The current hardware in the PC does OK. I’ve managed to play some games like: Tomb Raider (2013), Dead Space 3, Devil May Cry (2013), Crysis 2 and 3, and Batman Ark City with options usually on a mix of medium or high and resolution set lower than my monitor’s native 1920x1080.

    The main game I’d be most interested in getting better performance on with these hardware upgrades would be Battlefield 3. My PC can just barely run it as is. With all settings on Low and resolution set to, I think, 1024x768 I get somewhere around 40 frames average, depending on map and location, on a full 64 player game. It’s playable but it looks like crap. lol

    I’m not sure if I really need to worry about upgrading the CPU and PSU or if I’m better off just getting the SSD and video card. If I were to spend a little more on the video card I could go with something like this: the GeForce GTX 660 2GB for $189.99:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814127707

    I’m looking at about $225 - $280 if I just go SSD + video card. Somewhere around $400 - $550 if I go with all upgrades. The lower price of just the SSD and video card definitely appeals to me more than dumping a bunch of cash into this PC. I eventually plan to move on to an iMac for my desktop machine sometime in the future, within a year or two maybe, so the less I spend on the PC now the more I’ll have later when I’m ready for an iMac.

    I’m open to any and every suggestion, other options, what hardware to go with, etc.

    Thank you!
     
  2. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #2
    This is a Mac forum. Builders on this forum go for Intel mobos and build Hackintosh computers.

    You will find more help going to a PC forum.
     
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #3
    Video Card: When it comes to gaming the video card is everything if your CPU and RAM is sufficient. This is where you should focus your money. Get a GeForce GTX 660 or 760. Your CPU is likely sufficient. The Radeon 7770 is just the next step up from the 6670. The GTX 660 and 760 blow them out of the water and is where you will be able to use high quality settings at 1920x1080 with Anti-Aliasing on.

    CPU: Don't bother few games will make use of the extra cores. Most software won't either. If you are hitting a 100% CPU load. You need to save up for an Intel 4670K or 4770K (save money at Microcenter on your CPU). If you are afraid to overclock get equivalent non K series models. You can also get a previous gen 3570K or 3770K. Get a decent motherboard ASUS or Gigabyte Z87 chipset in the $125 to $175 range.

    SSD: Adata is garbage get the Samsung 840 EVO 120GB. Personally I'd save extra for a 240/256GB model so games and levels can launch faster.

    PSU: Both are great. I love the Rosewill PSU. I've owned several and never had one fail. They also always have a strong 12v rail. If your current 500w is a Rosewill, 80 plus certified and has the needed PCIe power connectors I'd stick with it. It should be able to handle the card. Try it out before blowing money on a new one.
     
  4. itsOver9000 thread starter macrumors 6502

    itsOver9000

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Location:
    B.F., KS
    #4
    Good information. Thank you.

    Would I take too much of a performance hit with either a GTX 660 or Radeon 7770, which are pci-e 3.0, and kept my current motherboard which is only pci-e 2.0?
     
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #5
    No, any performance reduction if any would be negligible.
     
  6. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #6
    You don't need a better PSU, and I wouldn't get a video card with that budget - the increase from a 6670 isn't worth it IMO. But definitely get an SSD, they're fantastic.
     
  7. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #7
    Please, don't post ignorant comments like this. Although this is a Mac forum, there are several and very capable PC builders here.

    In fact several people in this forum have DIY PCs at home and have Macs for laptops.

    If OP asked for advice, he'll get an advice regarding his upgrades.
     
  8. itsOver9000 thread starter macrumors 6502

    itsOver9000

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Location:
    B.F., KS
    #8
    Really? Interesting that you would say that. TBH, I really could live without the SSD. The video card upgrade not so much, I think. Maybe I should point out that I've moved on to using my MacBook Air for almost all of my daily computer use. I'm just planning to keep the PC around strictly for gaming for a few years until I'm possibly ready to replace it with an iMac. End goal being to have "an all Mac household". I'm thinking the video card upgrade for sure would give me a few more years of good gaming performance, for a relatively cheap price at this time.
     
  9. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #9
    If you're only looking to game on the computer, than I agree. A video card is the best upgrade you can do, and you'd be best off spending $250+ on the card. Personally I like AMD, but you really can't go wrong right now.

    AMD's new cards have "Mantle" which enables programmers to use some of the same tricks they can do on the consoles on a PC, so you get better graphics.

    Nvidia announced a vSync solution that syncs the refresh rate to your monitor. If you're serious about your PC gaming, I would look into which option you would make use of before picking a card.

    On the other hand, if you use your computer for anything besides gaming (Facebook, Office, etc), I would 100% say to get an SSD. It makes lightweight programs instantly, and heavier programs like Photoshop open very fast. And since the bottleneck for 99% of programs (excluding games) is the HDD read speed, you'll notice the benefits of an SSD everywhere.
     
  10. itsOver9000 thread starter macrumors 6502

    itsOver9000

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2013
    Location:
    B.F., KS
    #10
    Well this is interesting..
    I ended up selling my Windows desktop last night! I had had it listed on CL and another local site for awhile. I had pretty much given up on the idea of selling it because the offers I had gotten were poor. Finally got a decent offer for it yesterday and went with it.

    Now I'm in a bit of a dilemma for a desktop Mac, torn between iMac and Mac mini. Perhaps I'll start a more relevant thread once I do some more thinking.

    I appreciate the help and suggestions offered on possible PC upgrades all the same!!
     
  11. macs4nw macrumors 601

    macs4nw

    #11
    maccompaq wasn't being ignorant, but merely stating the obvious. You want advice on customizing your Mustang, your first instincts aren't to go to a GM dealer. Sure, many forum members have both Mac and PC, and many are very knowledgeable about both, it just seems common sense to go to the source with the most experts.
     

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